DJ UMAMI | THE INTERVIEW

State your stage name and profession for the record.

DJ Umami, professional DJ.

I think that’s the first time I called myself that.

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

I’ve owned turntables for a little over 12 years. Originally just bought them to let off some steam during a really crazy period in my life. The good homie Cutso was patient enough to show me how to beat match and I just kept going.

I was working the door at Gwrex’s party at Poleng called Strut. One day he asked me if I was down to do an opening set the following month. I laughed at first, and he was like, “why not? Fuck it, man.” So I did. That was my first gig. Strut in May 2008.

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

I don’t really want to give away my age, but as soon as I was old enough to go out, I was drooling over sets from Music Machine when it was at SOFA lounge. I can’t really pinpoint a specific time, but I know that past vibe is still hanging on by a thread. Where DJs were playing golden era hip hop, soul and funk and it was nutty from front to back.

I remember going there by myself just to catch The Bangerz play. I would also hit up PST a lot when it was at Levende (now Brick & Mortar) and followed it to 330 Ritch. In Oakland, I remember catching The Oakland Faders at Luka’s and wondering where has this party been all my life. I used to follow most of Fran Boogie’s Parties, so I was no stranger to the legendary Triple Threat DJs.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 10 minute vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

I’m extremely blessed to know and call most of my influential DJs my big brothers. I’ve learned so much and have been put on by them. When I’m up and playing with some of these cats, trust that I’m nervous AF. The thought of trying to find self-worth next to (usually) men that have been killing the game for years gets me sweating bullets and is a setup for failure.

The only thing that gets me in the right headspace is usually focusing on the crowd rather than which DJ is behind me or in the building listening to my selection or transitions. When the crowd is fuckin with you, that’s when you prove your worthiness. I know that doesn’t directly answer your question, but I guess it’s because it depends.


“When the crowd is fuckin’ with you, that’s when you prove your worthiness.”


Peaches Crew has undoubtedly become an institution. Talk about the history and influence y’all have had and what it means to be a part of such an important collective in Bay Area DJ history.

The Peaches Crew was started by Masaye Waugh at Skylark in SF. She wanted to do a weekly party that featured women DJs, so we were handpicked by her and essentially became a family more than a crew. The core group was Deeandriod, Lady Fingaz, DJ That Girl, and myself. We’ve then since added members Pony P, Deejay Andre, and Lady Ryan and some have also left because they’ve had to move. In our going on 8 years together, we’ve established multiple residencies around The Bay that we all rotate.

It’s been so important to have theses badass women in my corner in this male-dominated field, as they have been such a motivating force within my life (I know I just quoted Aaliyah). From time to time, we get together in a non-club environment and shoot the shit, eat, drink, share music, have mini scratch sessions, and update each other with our dating lives. It’s so hard to get anything productive done though because we have so much fun when we’re together.

Favorite burrito joint?

I try to stay away from burritos these days because they make me hella sleepy. They are, in fact nature’s giant sleeping pill. But if I’m going to spoil myself, Papalote’s adobo burrito with avocado, extra Papalote Salsa please.

Curry or Kobe?

No disrespect to the Black Mamba and the career that he’s had, but Curry all day. Curry’s already had one more MVP awards than Kobe has, one being unanimous, and his career is still pretty young. But, people would say my opinion is totally biased, which it is.

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?

I love going up to wine country for little staycations. I recently visited Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga for a couple days after a seven gig in four days weekend, and it was just what I needed to reboot. But most of the time, I really love just being at home chillin’ with a cup of tea.

What’s a current favorite album you’re listening to that you think you’ll still be listening to 10 years from now and why?

This changes a lot. I’ve had Goldlink’s “Crew” on heavy rotation lately. I tend to lean towards R&B rather than hip hop. I feel like it’s a perfect balance of both, or maybe just enough for me. Music that is timeless versus trendy tends to resonate more with me, so I get juiced when I find soulful artists these days.

Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

Shout out to my sisters in the Peaches Crew. Follow us on IG to stay updated with our shenanigans @peaches_crew.

Shout out to my kids, Demarcus & Ajrien because they’re awesome and maybe one of their friends will read this and my kids will finally think I’m a little cool…or not. Whatever. Love you guys.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat at @djumami
Like me on Facebook at Facebook.com/djumami
Check out some of my mixes at djumami.com

DJ LazyBoy | The Interview

State your stage name and profession for the record.

DJLAZYBOY aka GREG FRESSSH aka GREGORY THE GREAT aka GANGSTA SUSHI aka HARDBOILED GREGG aka YOUR MOM’S FAVORITE DJ

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

I started djing in December 1999. My first gig was at this teen center. They had a dance night and I had a dope collection of cds. I asked to rock one night and when I dropped my songs and the girlies screamed, I knew I found what I wanted to do. My first paying steady dj gig was at a bowling alley in Santa Rosa, Ca. on Saturday nights called Continental Lanes. My homie from 1st grade Forrest hooked it up. It was definitely an open format gig, and all I really had was house and radio hits on vinyl. They had tons of DVD’s and CD’s though so I would drop music videos, take requests, and try and slip in as much radio house hits as I could. My jam at the time was “Papi Chulo” by Funkdoobiest. They could only handle so much of that Wild 94.9 stuff there.

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

I’d have to say the battle era. Even though I wasn’t a part of it, looking back, some of the most legendary relationships were made during that era. All of the gods were in the battle circuit and became friends just like I am with folks in the battle circuit today. The difference is that djing was so young that many of the folks were pioneering techniques and styles. I mean ISP, Beat Junkie Sound, Oakland Faderz, Triple Threat Djs, Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters, FourOneFunk. I WISH I could cruise down the street and see cats in their garage juggling, scratching, mixing, and that’s how it was in Daly City back then. For me being from West Sonoma County me and the homies would travel down to San Bruno every Sunday to see Ales1 and Teeko mix it up and talk about their week at Ultra Sounz. That’s what life was for us. We just wanted to be accepted and more connected with our “older brothers” in the game. Shout to Rob, Ajax, and Kendo (I don’t think kendo worked there but he would always ask “so what do you think of Amen” LOL). Good times.


“That’s what life was for us. We just wanted to be accepted and more connected with our ‘older brothers’ in the game.”


You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 10 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

First of all… I’m a “Control Vinyl Purist” so you probably wouldn’t catch me rocking an all vinyl set, unless I came into some serious money and could afford it! If I did rock it… I have some seriously dope transitions like this one from “My Thang” to “Funky Child” to “Sideways” that puts a look on your face like you smell some piss! So I’d just do creative transitions, and be super different. I got to open for Z-Trip 3 years ago and in my set I rocked an auctioneer selling over a bass heavy beat into some other tracks about money. He’s definitely my dj hero. Lately cats in Oakland have been coming out with cases of fresh vinyl, carrying themselves like they are the shit, but can’t even mix with them. I saw one guy out of a crew of 5 actually mix. I immediately went up and offered him free one on one mentoring because it felt like I needed to feed the hunger that separated him from his homies. Perhaps that would help them to step it up and find a desire to push themselves further into the rabbit hole. Back in my day (2000’s LOL) if you went up and let a song play and then just dropped the next track you would get kicked off the tables. I never heard from him. I definitely want to dig through my vinyl go out and show them how it can be done. I am probably coming off super arrogant right now, but those of you who grew up on vinyl and see these types of newcomer djs doing this know how cringing it is to be in the same room and watch this go down.

You’re known as a fierce competitor in the battle scene. Do you identify with being a battle DJ first and foremost or something else? Which do you like doing more, showcasing, competing, or party rockin’? Why is still important for DJs to showcase skill in their sets, i.e., scratching, trick mixing, etc.?

HAHA! I didn’t know that I was! I guess now that I look at it I suppose I am. I’m just a dj who sees the battle scene as an opportunity to showcase talent. It’s like a recital for djs, where we get to write our own show and perform it. I don’t battle to prove I’m the best. I don’t think I’m the best at all, but I know that I’m dope! I know that I’m creative. I know my place is to entertain the people who paid to have a great time and hear great music, so I do it with skill, precision, and a style that only lazyboy can. The dj scene here in the bay and many other places is super clicky. I’ve been trying to earn my stripes for years here, and even with Shortkut vouching for me, and many others who stand by me, I am just starting to get the recognition I’ve been working so hard for. I give it to the battle scene for providing me that platform. I still haven’t gotten booked at many of the places I want to spin at, with many of my favorite bay area legends I’d love to share the crowd with. So I use the battle platform to show everyone what I’ve got in hopes to finally be accepted and invited to rock a crowd. So to answer your questions, I identify as a well rounded dj first and foremost. I mostly enjoy party rocking which allows me to showcase with a competitive mindset. See what I did there? LOL. Here’s why I feel it’s important. This day in age there are a blahzillian amount of “DJs” out there undercutting those of us who have dedicated our lives to this as an art form and career. The way that we differentiate ourselves is by how we get down. Selection will ALWAYS be first, but your style is what the listener will use to separate you from the next guy with a laptop and a library.

Favorite burrito joint?

Hmmm… Papalote, but I’m more of a taco guy really and I’ve gotta shout a spot you may never have guessed to have one of the best tacos ever. Eastside West on taco tuesdays. Get “The Vampiro”. I know it sounds like a strange place, but trust me. Go there, get that, and thank me later.

Curry or Kobe?

Curry. C’mon son!

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?

To unwind sometimes I enjoy going where the people are. Downtown San Francisco on a sunny day feels great. Also hiking in Marin, Sonoma County. Taking a drive through the wine country back roads. Hitting up random food spots in cities I’ve never been. Hopping on a train or a bus and ending up wherever. I’m a very spontaneous person and that’s the best way for me to unwind.

What’s a current favorite album you’re listening to now that you think you’ll still be listening to 10 years from now?

I listen to a lot of playlists, mixes, and podcasts. Mostly self help books on dating an socializing. LOL I’m such a dj nerd. I’m a drake fan and I could definitely hear “Take Care” 10 years from now. I can ALWAYS listen to “Uptown Saturday Night” Camp Lo, “Dookie” Green Day, “Smash” The Offspring. “They’re all gonna laugh at you” Adam Sandler.

Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

I def gotta shout Platurn for this dope interview and giving me a spotlight to share some of what goes on in the mind of the boy they call lazy, thank you! Shortkut, Gordo/MOM DJS, Chuy and Hugo Gomez, Dinga, Sizzlak and Casa Rasta, Eddie Marz, Patrick Malone, Beset, Ousa, Mr. Murdock, Classic, Samantha Mineo, Crimson, TypeOne, Antriks, Ajaxx, Illborn, Expo, Ynot, Luis Orozco, JB, Tamayo, Cal, Fabian, Mark Maiden, Kendo, Dan Rosenbach, all for putting me on. Zhaldee, MytyMyke, Phil Drummond, Ease for keeping me informed on dj battles. GoldenChyld, Z-Trip, Ferno, Danny West, David Neito for offering help guiding myself in this career, Cutso for saving my ass, Marvell for ALWAYS being there for me. Apollo, Jam, Mr. Choc, Rectangle, Revolution, Spinbad, Icewater, Jazzy Jeff, JFB, Rafik, PriMO, Tony Tone, J. Espinosa, Byte, Four Color Zack, Craze, Enferno and many more for inspiration. Shout to my sponsor Class Acts 93 y’all should carry some of the gear at TRUE. It would be a nice fit. Shout to all the groupies and cuties out there! If it wasn’t for y’all it would be that much less fun for us! A MASSIVE SHOUT OUT to ALL of my fans and those who believe in the boy they call Lazy! You help me each and everyday and what is a dj without a crowd?!

Catch me on social media FB/IG/TWITTER : @djlazyboy

www.djlazyboy.net

MIXCLOUD: @djlazyboy23